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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of trying to schedule a snowmobile trip out to Wyoming for this upcoming winter and would like some opinions.
What part of winter would give me the best chance for powder conditions? I was shooting for the end of Feb or early March and hoping there would be some good base by then. I talked to a few members who went mid March last winter and had 50 degree temps, so I don't want that.

Secondly I'm looking for input on good places to stay? We have alway said that we where going to stay at Togwotee but lately I've been hearing that its sort of a busy place, kind of like the Munising of the U.P. So if anyone know of any reasonable lodging with access to rental sleds and possible guides please post your experiences. :wink:

Next I need opinions on wether to take our sleds west or rent when we get there? With rentals you pay more but can beat the living daylights out of the equipment with no reprocussions. The sled will also be set up well for conditions. If I take my own the sled it will cost less plus I know what the sled is capable of and is set up how I like it. (gps ready too)

Any info or personal experience anyone has would be appreciated. :thumbsup:
Later Jason
 

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I know its a little farther, but we went to big sky montana one year. It was awesome!! They had rentals and guids available at the base of the mountain. It was not very busy considering the ski area so local and all. It was over ten years ago, so I don't remember any of the details, but it was a great time. I wished we had brought our own sleds when we were there. Their sleds are set up for deep snow, but still only like 440's. I always prefer to have my own sled though. Yours is set up enough, that it seems worth taking.
 

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I've never been, so I can only relate my preferences and what I've heard from others.

Togwotee may seem like a very popular place and it is, but from what I hear, once you get out on the snow, you never see anyone else. I don't really think that comparing it to one of the hot spots in Michigan would be a good comparison.

If I went, I would rent. There are lots of things I would try if I didn't have to worry about wadding mine up at the bottom of a mountain. Plus a rental will be set up for elevation where yours will have to be changed. Everyone that I have talked to has been happy with their rental. Most are 800's now. Maybe you could take your risers with you?

This I know for sure...If you took your sled, you would have to at least change the jetting and the clutching to adjust for the elevation. Also the mountain sleds have a different timing curve in them.

I don't know anyone that has taken their own sleds, so I have only heard about one side of this...
 

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I know folks from around here and most of them go to Big Sky, and go late in the year. Mid to late April. Snow is still deep but heavier based and less people.

As far as going, you have to consider a few things. Cost of fuel etc.... vs renting. Cost of properly equipping the sled (sea level clutching and jetting will not cut it) and don't forget the right track for the job.

My friends that went last April had a 700 Crossfire with the stock 1.25 Ripsaw and it was near impossable to get around. IMO you need 1.75 or more. Heck, I run a 1.75 in Michigan LOL

To me, renting would be the way to go if it was one trip a year. The cost to setup the machine and then haul it out there would justify it IMO. If you rent, you will get a machine calibrated and setup.

NOW. If it is your first time, it is iherrant that you GET A GUIDE! This isnt like the UP with a trail system and good maps. A good guide will get you where you want to go safely and be prepared to bring some extra cash for a good tip (then ask if there are any "off the regular areas" places to go and they should set ya up)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good info so far, it makes sense to rent rather than carry but I have noticed on some of the forums that people end up renting the first time but taking their sleds the next. Just couldn't really figure what would make them switch.

I do have a 1.75 but I think I may be underpowered for the elevation with only have the 600 sdi. A positive note is that by not taking the sleds we can take my buddies new Volkswagon turbo diesel which gets something like 50mph :thumbsup:

I have noticed that rental and guide prices really vary by location so if anyone has info on that please let me know. I agree that a guide is a must, at least for the first day or two. If I can get my gps hooked onto a rental sled I would feel much more comfortable about exploring on my own.
 

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Never been out west..... Dying to head up there one of these years.... This year were going to quebec for a week to ride.... I have heard of this company that takes groups of guys out west. I think this is something that you may want to look into.... Here is the website...... http://www.momsmotorsports.com

This is what i know about the company.... Called them last year to get some information.... They have a modified semi trailer. It is a extended modified cab that will hold 10 guys.... They the trailer you carry all your gear, snowmobiles included.... They drive you out west to where you want to go.... The trips fill up fast, but if you get a full load they may make a trip for you... Prices very on time of year I believe.... I am pretty sure the guys said $600.... This includes lodging and maybe 1 meal.... I believe that these guys are guides and ride with you too......Dont hold me to all this....... But it could be something you may want to check out

Rob



just checked it out..... this years trip dates have not been updated
 

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The 600 would be just fine IMO but you would have to clutch for altitude.


IMO the reason for the guide is SAFETY. You are out in very remote areas, it's not like they label things for avalanches, rocks, etc.....

Just dont want to hear about a Saginaw man lost in the mountains LOL

Several of us are going out this March also, but being in the twin cities trailering is a much easier option (I can get to big sky in 12 hours vs. 22-24 from MI)
 

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I went out to Cooke City MT last winter at the end of Feb. This was the first time this midwesterner did any mountain riding. If you want to remain happy snowmobiling in the mid-west DO NOT GO OUT WEST! :D

The powder was unbelievable - the base was 3-4 feet deep and they had just gotten another 2-4 feet of fresh powder the week before we got there. The temps were in the single digits (F) in the morning warming to mid 20's during the day. We went mid-week so there were not too many people. Enough people passing through to help if you need it, but not enough to get in each others way.

I rented a 07 600 Summit while out there. It had plenty of power for what I wanted to do. It also had a 2" paddle track, is geared down quite a bit more than a Gade and has the clutch set up for high altitude. The town is at 7500 feet and the area we were riding in was in the 9500-10,500 range. It was about $150/day for the machine. There was NO INSURANCE on these rentals - if you wreck it you pay for it! :(

I went out there with a buddy that had been there a couple of times in the past. If you don't go with a guide make sure to talk to the locals about avalanche danger and where to stay away from. Also plan on being back well before dark. You will be worn out before then anyway - dig out a sled at 10,000ft a few times and you need a break! :) I have pictures but they don't do the place justice...

I have an 08 Gade 600 comming this fall. I debated for quite a while about if I should try and get it set up to be able to take out west as well as for use here in MN. I ultimately decided that I won't make it out there often enough to make it worthwhile. In the end it would be a lot of money (new track, skis, gearing, etc) and a lot of tinkering (clutching) to get a marginal deep powder machine. I know people that have wasted the whole trip trying to dial in the sled and still not get it right - they were not happy campers at the end of the trip. I decided to just rent for the next couple of years anyway if/when I manage to get out there again. That way I just jump on the machine and go. With a little one joining the family this summer I don't see a trip out west in my future this winter...

I rented from this place: http://www.cookecityexxon.com/
We stayed here: http://www.cookecityantlerslodge.com/index.html

On the Antler's Lodge web site check out the "Whittle Sled Report" on the left at the very bottom. Awsome pictures and running commentary through the year on the conditions. Very cool place and the Whittles are really nice people and really good riders.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Never been out west..... Dying to head up there one of these years.... This year were going to quebec for a week to ride.... I have heard of this company that takes groups of guys out west. I think this is something that you may want to look into.... Here is the website...... http://www.momsmotorsports.com

This is what i know about the company.... Called them last year to get some information.... They have a modified semi trailer. It is a extended modified cab that will hold 10 guys.... They the trailer you carry all your gear, snowmobiles included.... They drive you out west to where you want to go.... The trips fill up fast, but if you get a full load they may make a trip for you... Prices very on time of year I believe.... I am pretty sure the guys said $600.... This includes lodging and maybe 1 meal.... I believe that these guys are guides and ride with you too......Dont hold me to all this....... But it could be something you may want to check out

Rob

just checked it out..... this years trip dates have not been updated[/b]
Thanks for the link, I have heard of them before but at this point I think I'm leaning towards renting. I am going to keep an eye on the link though. :)


The 600 would be just fine IMO but you would have to clutch for altitude.
IMO the reason for the guide is SAFETY. You are out in very remote areas, it's not like they label things for avalanches, rocks, etc.....

Just dont want to hear about a Saginaw man lost in the mountains LOL

Several of us are going out this March also, but being in the twin cities trailering is a much easier option (I can get to big sky in 12 hours vs. 22-24 from MI)[/b]
I know what your saying, I probably have no idea of the vastness of what we will encounter. I sure I wouldn't have an issue getting lost I just don't want to be buried under 10 feet of snow. Moving to MN really has it benefits doesn't it :p

I went out to Cooke City MT last winter at the end of Feb. This was the first time this midwesterner did any mountain riding. If you want to remain happy snowmobiling in the mid-west DO NOT GO OUT WEST! :D

The powder was unbelievable - the base was 3-4 feet deep and they had just gotten another 2-4 feet of fresh powder the week before we got there. The temps were in the single digits (F) in the morning warming to mid 20's during the day. We went mid-week so there were not too many people. Enough people passing through to help if you need it, but not enough to get in each others way.

I rented a 07 600 Summit while out there. It had plenty of power for what I wanted to do. It also had a 2" paddle track, is geared down quite a bit more than a Gade and has the clutch set up for high altitude. The town is at 7500 feet and the area we were riding in was in the 9500-10,500 range. It was about $150/day for the machine. There was NO INSURANCE on these rentals - if you wreck it you pay for it! :(

I went out there with a buddy that had been there a couple of times in the past. If you don't go with a guide make sure to talk to the locals about avalanche danger and where to stay away from. Also plan on being back well before dark. You will be worn out before then anyway - dig out a sled at 10,000ft a few times and you need a break! :) I have pictures but they don't do the place justice...

I have an 08 Gade 600 comming this fall. I debated for quite a while about if I should try and get it set up to be able to take out west as well as for use here in MN. I ultimately decided that I won't make it out there often enough to make it worthwhile. In the end it would be a lot of money (new track, skis, gearing, etc) and a lot of tinkering (clutching) to get a marginal deep powder machine. I know people that have wasted the whole trip trying to dial in the sled and still not get it right - they were not happy campers at the end of the trip. I decided to just rent for the next couple of years anyway if/when I manage to get out there again. That way I just jump on the machine and go. With a little one joining the family this summer I don't see a trip out west in my future this winter...

I rented from this place: http://www.cookecityexxon.com/
We stayed here: http://www.cookecityantlerslodge.com/index.html

On the Antler's Lodge web site check out the "Whittle Sled Report" on the left at the very bottom. Awsome pictures and running commentary through the year on the conditions. Very cool place and the Whittles are really nice people and really good riders.[/b]
Now this is the conditions I'm looking for :thumbsup: and this is what I was afraid of, out west will make the U.P. snowbelts I ride in feel like riding around Grayling on a 40 degree day :eek:hmy:
You said that the sleds have no insurance so I take it that you where liable just for physical damage and not real damage like blowing up a motor?? :D This is were I would really lean toward renting, I would hate to be pushing my sled full bore up a hill and have the motor give out. Talk about ruining a trip real quick.
Did this resort have any type of guide service available?? How was it riding from the resort and how are the accomodations around the lodge? You know like food, gas, and nightlife??

Thanks everyone so far
Jason
 

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that by not taking the sleds we can take my buddies new Volkswagon turbo diesel which gets something like 50mph :thumbsup:[/b]
Take a Chevy. It'll do 150 M P H and you'll have 4 extra days for riding. :lmao:

I too would suggest you rent for all the same reasons as already stated.

Jeff
 

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Now this is the conditions I'm looking for :thumbsup: and this is what I was afraid of, out west will make the U.P. snowbelts I ride in feel like riding around Grayling on a 40 degree day :eek:hmy:
You said that the sleds have no insurance so I take it that you where liable just for physical damage and not real damage like blowing up a motor?? :D This is were I would really lean toward renting, I would hate to be pushing my sled full bore up a hill and have the motor give out. Talk about ruining a trip real quick.
Did this resort have any type of guide service available?? How was it riding from the resort and how are the accomodations around the lodge? You know like food, gas, and nightlife??

Thanks everyone so far
Jason[/b]
Yes, you are only liable for accident damage to the sled. They fill it with gas and oil and have a spare belt with it. If the belt lets go due to usual wear and tear there is no charge, if you do something stupid to blow up the belt they will charge for it. Not sure how they can tell but he assured me they can. :slick: They just ask that if something starts to go wrong with the sled you try and get it back to them. There is a 'snowmobile retrieval' service in town... w00t

There is a place where you can rent a backpack, shovel, probe and beacon for $15/day. Make sure everybody has beacons and knows how to use them. Check out this site: http://www.mtavalanche.com/. It has current conditions (in the winter only obviously), accident reports and links to online classes on avalanches. Last year one person was killed in an avalanche in this area and the year before two people were. It being my first time out there I was obsessed about the avalanche danger. Read up on it (there are several rules that make things a lot safer), watch what you are doing and talk to the locals and you should be fine.

You can drop an e-mail to the lodge - I am sure he can tell you where to find a guide if he can't do it himself. This is the place my buddy always stays and in years past the owner has gone out riding with them for the heck of it (and he had some free time). They stop plowing the road (212) about 50 feet east of the lodge. You step out of the cabin, walk 50 ft east to get a really good breakfast, walk 200 ft west to pick up the sled at the rental place, then ride 250 ft back east to the trailhead (where they stop plowing the road).

There are a couple of restaurants and bars in the town. Two gas stations, but with the 600 sdi the machine didn't run out of gas before I did. :) I don't know about the night life - after a full day of riding like that I didn't have the energy for anything but finding dinner, having a beer or two, then hitting the sack. We took snacks out with us so we didn't have to come back into town for lunch.

The only downside is access. If you look at a map, hwy 212 between Red Lodge and Cooke City is not plowed in the winter - it is the snowmobile trail. That means that from the east you need to drive west to the north entrance of Yellowstone, then back east through Yellowstone to the NE entrance and out to Cooke City. They hit you up for a park access fee as well. It took about 5 hours of driving from Billings to get into Cooke City.

It also isn't a very big area - about 5 miles by 5 miles that is open to snowmobiling. If you are there more than 3-4 days you will have seen it all. However it is the kind of place you can drop 1000 riders into and not feel crowded - it is all boondocking and hill climbing. You take a trail out of town for about 3-4 miles and the trail ends at the top of a pass (Daisy). You drop down the other side of the pass and play.

I am getting too long-winded. Can you tell I fell in love with the place? :inlove: I can't wait to get back there again. I can try posting some pictures if you are interested - never done that on a forum before...
 

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ya fly to Revy
 

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Who said anything about flying? :)

When my friend and I went we flew, but it was because it was the only way I could take the time to do it. We ended up in Cooke City because it was his favorite place to go and it was the cheapest total trip we could find (about $1000 each for plane tickets, sled rental, car rental and lodging) for 2 full days of riding (3 nights in the lodge).

Next time I probably won't fly - there are several groups heading out west I know about where most of the people have their own mountain sleds. I will try to get in with one of these groups but still end up renting a machine when I get out there.

Don't know if I will end up in Cooke City again next time either - there are a lot of good places to go out there. It is the only one I personally know about, so it is what I wrote about.

How expensive is Revelstoke? From what I have heard I think I need to get a little better at mountain riding before I head there anyway?

dave
 

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Discussion Starter #15
if your going to fly and rent why not just go to revelstoke :unsure:[/b]
Theres always next year :)

Great info dlaine, it sounds like the perfect place to stay and ride. The only downside would be that like you said its a smaller area and we will be there for 4-5 day of riding. I guess I never realize that they had the Cooke City area so restricted to sleds. :confused:
If it where me I think I would want to try out as many places as possible. I've notice that lots of people end up going to the same locals every year just cause they know em. Too bad I didn't I don't keep my old sled mags, I remember one last year that listed all the top sleding spots out west. It sure would come in handy right now.
 
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